Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chicken Paprikas and Quick Potato Dumplings

[This recipe is taken from June Meyer's website: and the picture is from some flikr account.]

June Meyer's Authentic Hungarian Chicken Paprikas

Every country household had a yard full of chickens. Chicken dishes that could be slow cooked on the stove for supper were plentiful and cheap to make. Paprikas was a weekly dish for supper. A pot of potato dumplings, and perhaps a platter of pickled hungarian peppers and a loaf of crusty home baked bread was all that was need for ones well being. Every meal was eaten with gusto.

Regards, June Meyer.

* 2 onions chopped
* 4 Tbsp. shortening, corn oil or lard
* 3 Tbsp. Hungarian paprika
* 1/8 Tsp. black pepper or whole pepper corns
* 2 Tsp. salt
* 4 to 5 lbs. chicken disjointed, use legs, thighs, breast and back for best flavor
* 1 1/2 cups water
* 1/2 pt. sour cream

Brown onions in shortening. Add seasonings and chicken, brown 10 minutes. Add water, cover and let simmer slowly until it is tender. It will smell wonderful!
Remove chicken, add sour cream to drippings in pan and mix well. To thicken gravy, mix into a paste 1 Tbl. soft butter with 1 Tbl.of flour and stir into drippings.
Add dumplings and arrange chicken on top. Heat through,but do not boil, and serve.

Modern Potato Dumplings
Yes, I know this is not traditional. But it is easy, fast and delicious.

* 1 cup of instant potato flakes
* 1 egg
* 1cup of flour
* 1cup of water

Mix in a small bowl.
Drop by spoonfuls into salted boiling water. cook until dumplings look done when cut in half, about 5 or 6 minutes. Drain and place into sour-cream gravy and serve. Serves 6 to 8.

June's Note: If you do not like dumplings, you can serve this with some cooked wide egg noodles.

[Steve's note: We cut the recipe in half and ended up with about four full servings. It took an hour to make, but could probably be streamlined from how we did it. Also, we served it with a frozen cauliflower/carrot/broccoli mix that added a lot of color. It was a easy recipe and very tasty, sort of like a kissing cousin to beef stroganoff.]

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Nana's Turkey and Stuffing

Lay out 1 1/4 loaves of white bread on cookie sheets and let the slices dry overnight. Turn them over if you think about it.

Also the night before (to make things go faster in the morning) chop up two big onions and at least 6 stalks of celery. Saute both in about ½ cup of butter in a big pan. Add 2 cups of water and 1 heaping TBSP of chicken soup base (you can substitute chicken broth) and simmer 2-3 min. Let cool and then add 3 eggs and mix well. Pour this into a big pitcher and put in the fridge until morning.

Stack the bread 4 slices deep and slice into long ½ inch thick slices. Dump those in a bowl to be hand torn into pieces (to keep the kids busy and involved: you can also just cut them into cubes with a knife). Divide the bread between two big bowls (to give you room to stir and lift the bread). Sprinkle the bread very generously with sage, generously with thyme and dried parsley, less generously with black pepper. If the bread is so dry the spices won’t stick, you can spritz it with a bit of water.

Slowly pour about ¼ of the celery/onion/egg/broth mixture over the seasoned bread in each bowl and mix well; if the bread is still really dry, repeat. If the bread is fairly moist, pour off some of the liquid and add the rest of the onions and celery to the bread. You want the bread to be moist enough to hold together, but not soggy.

Meanwhile, wash out the thawed turkey (be sure to remove the neck and giblets!) and tip it so the inside drips dry. Start at the head end (the smaller cavity) and fill with stuffing. Slide thin slices of sacrificial apple or potato between the skin and the stuffing (so the stuffing won’t burn). Use thread (about 4 strands in a big needle) and sew the skin closed or use big poultry pins to secure the skin.

Turn the bird over and fill the bigger cavity. Place slices of apple/potato over the exposed stuffing.

Hook the legs back together (usually there is a plastic leg holder on the turkey already. If not, use thread to lash the legs together). Set the bird on a rack in the roasting pan. I then like to pull the wings up and stitch thru the tips, leaving about 4 inches of thread between the wings resting on the breast of the turkey. This keeps the wings from touching the sides of the pan and burning.

Baste the turkey if you want to and bake it. I preheat the oven to 375 then turn it down to 325 and cook it longer than recommended since it is at a lower temp. You may want to cover the breast, wings and legs with foil the last hour to keep them from overcooking.

These amounts are for a 12-14 lb turkey. Leftover stuffing gets put in a foil lined pan and is wrapped in the foil like a tin foil dinner. Bake it for only one hour, not the whole time the turkey is baked.

I find I like fresh turkey, rather than frozen. If you brine a thawed out frozen turkey, that is good and moist as well.

Peanut Butter Crispies (our own recipe)

by Daniel

1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tbsp molasses
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup peanut butter
3 cups crushed graham crackers

Melt the sugar into the corn syrup, molasses and salt over low heat. Mix in the peanut butter. Pour over crushed graham crackers. Stir until it all clumps up. If it's still sticky, add more graham crackers. If it's crumbly, take graham crackers out.

Tastes delicious with chocolate melted on top or mixed into a good brand of vanilla ice cream. We all ate it until we felt sick.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Curried Shrimp

1-2 lbs Shrimp, the more the better. Use big ones as the little salad shrimp get lost in the sauce. Precooked and frozen are fine. Thaw them out and dry them off before cooking.

½ cup White Flour (skip the flour or use corn starch for GFCF)

2 C uncooked Rice : 4 cups of water : 1 tsp salt

1 large Onion, diced

1 large Green pepper, coarsely chopped up

2-3 cans Tomato Soup

Curry Powder (Red Hot Chili Powder is optional: add this to the tomato soup if you want the curry to be spicy)

1-2 T Sugar

4-6 T Butter

Start the rice cooking first.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan. I use one with a non-stick coating. Add onions and cook just until golden. Meanwhile, dredge the shrimp in flour and then LIGHTLY fry in the butter with the onions. Sprinkle the shrimp liberally with curry powder and lightly with sugar. Fry a bit more, turn over and sprinkle second side with the curry powder and sugar. Add the green peppers just before you add the cans of tomato soup so they are not overcooked. Add water as needed to keep the sauce saucy. Taste the sauce and add more curry and hot sauce if wanted. Cook only until the sauce is all hot and bubbling. Serve over the rice.
You can make this more of a curry by serving it with small dishes containing finely chopped fresh green pepper, raisins, coconut, chunk pineapple, etc.